Wall Street economist Steve Rattner in a recent speech to the Peterson Institute in Princeton tried to discuss the “morality” of globalization. He was referring to the losers in America—the thousands who lost their jobs. Rattner noted that in 2015, the U.S. Added 2.7 million to the workforce. But only 30,000 were in manufacturing jobs. Since 2000, 70 percent of textile manufacturing jobs and 73 percent of apparel manufacturing jobs have vanished. Machinery manufacturers in the U.S. Gave up 24 percent of the workforce.
Rattner’s comments were not well received by the Peterson audience. Those jobs were eliminated by technology, leaders asserted. Rattner reasoned that if technology is behind the shift, then productivity would have risen sharply. It didn’t. The millions who lost their jobs are invisible to the winners of free trade. Ross Perrot had a point in 1992, Rattner concluded.